Coca-Cola “Fliers” (2002/:30)

Coca-Cola “Fliers”


Shot on location in New York’s Lower East Side, this ad for Coca-Cola’s music site describes how “every seven seconds someone starts a band” and that you therefore need help to filter out the good from the bad. We filmed a chronological sequence of a bunch of hipsters putting up posters on a wall over the course of a day and then ramped the footage up and down in editing.

During the prep for the shoot, we also decided to design the posters ourselves using our own fonts and illustrations, as well as selections from our friend Ian Brook’s vast archives of band photographs:

The following year, I tried to enter the posters into AIGA’s yearly competition. I chose the “Typography” category, wanting them to be judged in a context of craft. The entry got rejected on the grounds that they were not created for the marketplace. Yes, they might have been posters for fictitious bands printed in a very small run, but they were used for a television commercial for Coca-Cola and thus approved by both agency and client. I would argue that these posters went through a more rigid approval process and had to function in a tougher commercial context than the self-promotional pieces and type specimens you often see in that category.

Years later, I gave a lecture at the Schools of Thoughts educational conference about it. You can read it here.


Agency: McCann Erickson, New York
Client: The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta

Production Company: Brand New School, New York
Director: Jens Gehlhaar
Director: Jonathan Notaro
Producer: Craig Houchin
Director of Photography: Pat Notaro
Shot on location in New York

Design & Post Production: Brand New School, New York
Creative Director & Designer: Jens Gehlhaar
Creative Director & Designer: Jonathan Notaro
Still Photographer: Ian Brook
Animator: Dennis Go
Editor: Charles Jensen
Post Producer: Angela de Oliveira